• The Clock (2010) - Christian Marclay

    “Watching THE CLOCK, I found myself wondering if Mr. Marclay has a computer for a brain. (He had six assistants culling movies for time-related sequences but apparently did all the editing himself.) The sense of his mind at work, piecing everything together — thinking endlessly of time and timing, of sight and sound — is one of the work’s constants. But so is a kind of anonymity: a diffuse, inclusive love of movies, the joy of movies, which he spreads before us in an immense, ceaselessly moving, pell-mell, two-timing feast. Roberta Smith, The New York Times, 2/3/11

     

    christian-marclay-the-clock-02I left … THE CLOCK about twelve minutes after HIGH NOON. I’d been there since about 10:30 A.M., thinking that I’d stay for about twenty minutes … any longer, and the minutes might drag. But I was wrong. Time flew—it hypnotized. When I sat down, Bogart was trying to rouse a lady out of bed … A heist seemed to be underway in a train station … People kept waking up, appearing progressively guiltier as the hour grew later. Big Ben—perhaps the hero of this work?—appeared over and over … Strangely enough, as a film, THE CLOCK is really suspenseful … But for all the brilliant visual pleasures here, the most significant thing about [it] is its sound editing … Ultimately, [it’s] a signature artwork of our archival age, a testament to the pleasures of mechanization (and now digitization) … with its obsessive compiling, its miniature riffs, its capacious comic and dramatic turns, speaks to the completist lurking in all of present-day us. If montage is usually as cheaply sweet as Asti Spumante, THE CLOCK is Champagne: it’s what the form was invented for.” Meghan O’Rourke, The New Yorker, 7/19/12

     

    clock_0“You have to settle into The Clock, and go into the extraordinary trance-like state that it induces. When I first arrived, I found myself giving a little amused laugh at each appearance of the time. Then the novelty wore off and I became silent. Some other people, arriving after me, went through the same process. I arrived just after 11 in the morning and left before 1pm, so I went through the midday climax of emotions … The Clock is, unexpectedly, quite a sensual, sexy film, in that the late morning stretch features plenty of shots of people in bed, waking up, embracing and then realising that these are forbidden pleasures – forbidden by the clock. … For me, the weirdest effect of The Clock is that the time references became fictional – I stopped noticing that they were telling me exactly what the time actually was. They became a series of numbers which ordered the mosaic of moods and moments. And then, slowly but surely, I stopped noticing the time entirely. I just drank it in, just accepted the juxtapositions.” Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian, 4/7/11

     

    christian-marclay-24“Concocted by the Swiss video and sound artist Christian Marclay, THE CLOCK  is a beguiling dream of eternal cinema and also a startling wake-up call, the most literal-minded and also the most abstract use of the medium you can imagine. No need to check your watch or discreetly illuminate your cellphone: the clocks, watches and conversations on screen will tell you the time, with unfailing accuracy. And unlike any movie you have ever seen — even though it is composed of nearly every movie you have seen, and then some — this cinematic object has no beginning or end. At midnight the numbers turn over and it starts again. A.O.Scott, The New York Times, 7/16/12

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    Categories: Experimental Work